Judging without Authority – Engagement as a Political Trial according to Claude Lefort Cover Image

Ítélni tekintély híján – az elköteleződés mint a politikum próbája Claude Lefort gondolkodásában
Judging without Authority – Engagement as a Political Trial according to Claude Lefort

Author(s): Miklós Merényi
Subject(s): Political Philosophy
Published by: Fórum Könyvkiadó Intézet
Keywords: engagement; art of writing; political theory; Claude Lefort; democracy; totalitarianism

Summary/Abstract: Engaged political thinking, as it appeared at the birth of modern democracies, is now under suspicion. Doubt is cast on its democratic pedigree contesting its relation to the public interest, and accusing it of hidden partisanship, as if the ideas it fights for would only mask ulterior motives. In situations of justification, engaged thinking is disarmed by this charge. Its gestures seeking for intelligence cannot break through the granite hard shells of new ideologies. Focusing on Claude Lefort’s theory of democracy, this study points out that in our post-totalitarian age, democracy poses fundamentally new challenges for engaged political thinking. Lefort conjoins the historical and the social theoretical perspective to revitalize the reflection on the ultimate questions of the political by democratic engagement with the conditions of our present. By the advent of democracy, we came to a situation, where we must find our way without external markers of certainty. Since the social space is less and less intelligible, engaging ourselves with the underlying questions of the social relations, we face the lack of any ultimate authority. Still, we shall continue to make judgements, now deprived of authorities. In order to do so, engaged political thinking has to reconsider its approach toward the great works of the past and the ideologies of its context. The interrogation of Lefort’s oeuvre allows us to contribute a new, engaged art of writing, that explores the inseparable conditions of our freedom of thinking and the development of social freedom.

  • Issue Year: XLVIII/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 57-92
  • Page Count: 36
  • Language: Hungarian